Matt Chapman a bit behind post-surgeries.
MESA, Ariz. — Matt Chapman is recovering well from his two minor offseason surgeries, but the A’s Platinum Glove third baseman is likely to miss a few exhibition games early in spring training.
“It’s hard to say when everything will be a full go,” Chapman said Sunday at Hohokam Stadium, adding later that he expects to play in the March 20 regular-season opener in Japan.
“I know I’ll be ready by the season,” he said.
Chapman had surgery Oct. 16 to remove the sesamoid bone from his right hand after discomfort in the area sidelined him briefly twice last season, and he said his thumb is feeling great. He also had surgery to fix an AC joint problem in his left (nonthrowing) shoulder Dec. 16.
Chapman said that the shoulder injury had been a bit of an issue while fielding grounders or at times as he started his swing during the season, but he assumed that with the down time he’d have after thumb surgery that it would go away. Instead, it started barking at him when he began his rehab. “In a perfect world, I would have said something right off the bat,” he said of waiting for two months after the season for the procedure.
He is taking grounders and is throwing, but Chapman is on a swing progression after a winter spent “kind of putting myself back together,” he said. “Not exactly how you’d like to draw it up; you’d probably like to have some more down time and more time to train.”
Chapman anticipates beginning to hit overhand tosses next week. “The way it’s looking now, I’ll be not too far behind everyone else,” he said.
Going into his second full big-league season, Chapman is also sporting a new look: He has a thin mustache.
“It’s the first time I’ve really been able to grow some facial hair, so I’m wearing it proud,” the 25-year-old said. “I wish I could grow a beard like Marcus (Semien) but this is all I’ve got, so I’m going to rock what I’ve got.”
Chapman is not the only A’s player coming back from surgery. Left-hander Sean Manaea will begin a throwing program this week after undergoing shoulder surgery last fall, putting him well ahead of schedule from what was initially expected, and Jharel
Cotton and A.J. Puk, rehabbing from Tommy John surgeries, are well into their throwing programs.
Right-hander James Kaprielian, one of the key members of the Sonny Gray deal with the Yankees in 2017, will be behind the rest of the A’s pitchers to start the spring after feeling some lat discomfort during a bullpen session Friday. Shoulder issues troubled Kaprielian much of last season as he rehabbed from his 2017 Tommy John surgery.
Barreto to report late: All pitchers and catchers were expected to report on time Sunday, but the A’s are expecting one late arrival among the position players. Infielder Franklin Barreto, who lives in Venezuela, isn’t expected to report until next Sunday, two days after the position players’ reporting date.
The complex political situation in Venezuela is creating visa delays for players attempting to get to spring training.
A’s third baseman Matt Chapman, who hit .278 with 24 home runs and won a Gold Glove last season, is recovering from operations on his right hand and left shoulder.